Part 53: BF48 Heaven's Gate
Justice lies with the Holy Sword.
These words had been passed down in the Kingdom for generations; all citizens of Paltina lived by them. Yggdra was no exception, and the words had given her comfort during hard times, allowing her to draw strength from her misfortunes.
Now, the Bronquian Empire had fallen, and only the Kingdom of Fantasinia survived.
Yggdra stood alone in the Great Temple, Holy Sword in hand, haunted by Nessiah's last words...
The island rose higher and higher, reaching the boundary between the earth and the skies, at last entering Heaven's Gate. A single ray of light shone down onto the southern region of the island.
Hey... What's that?
And here we are. On the GBA version, or the PSP version on normal difficulty, this is the final level. We don't need to do any equipping, or other battle preparations.
This sword has always been involved in wars. It's good for nothing but hatred, anger, and suffering.
I don't pretend to be psychic, Princess... But I'm pretty sure you know what we're thinking, right? You'd have to... We're all thinking the same thing.
Yggdra steps forward, but isn't able to do anything here.
Were you not led here by the fallen angel Nessiah? I forbid you to enter any further. Return to your world.
Angelic lady, we came to the island to defeat Nessiah. We have done so and found ourselves here.
That sword you carry... the Gran Centurio, the Holy Sword that Nessiah created... That blade has been the cause of all strife on earth. Have you come to brandish such an evil weapon in Asgard?
Hear the words of the gods! Draw thy blade for eternal sin; else lay thine edge to rest. Whether you heed their words or disregard them... It is for you to decide, human.
Draw thy blade for eternal sin; else lay thine edge to rest...
This is too big for us. Only you can decide this one.
Yggdra returns to the Great Temple to seal the sword.
Lay thine edge to rest... Ruling with a sword will only cause for strife... Lay thine edge to rest... I will seal the sword here.
It's true that this sword contains absolute power. Because of that power, it has sparked countless wars... all of which the Kingdom has emerged from victorious. Over time, my family came to rely on this sword. But that only leads to history repeating itself. The sword offers only an illusion of justice.
The world without war you mentioned to me... the world Kylier wanted... a place where everyone can live in peace... That's a dream I share. To achieve it, I must break the chain of hatred. If this is what it takes to do so... Then I gladly surrender my sword.
If that's the way you feel... Go for it.
Yggdra's no princess anymore... She's a true Queen now! She chose what's best for the entire world. What she's trying to do, no king has ever accomplished. I kinda like it! I'm gonna stand by her and make it work! What about you all!?
I am a humble Royal Knight at your service, my Queen!
Nietzsche'll help, too!
A world without war... Hah! I'd better brush up on my healing spells, then.
Roswell would have said the same thing.
No battles? I'd have to retire... Flone would like that.
Finally... the world my comrades yearned for!
My life is yours. I'll do anything you wish.
A world where I can finally live as a peaceful housewife!
...I don't really know what's going on, but sounds good!
...Everybody... Thank you, everyone... Thank you, Milanor.
Well, it's about time to wrap this up! We've gotta begin immediately back on earth, right?
Yes. In the name of La Pucelle... O Holy Sword! I lay thee down now and always! Rest eternally in this land!
I commend your decision. To part with what you have relied so much upon... That is not a decision undertaken lightly. Your courage is a shining example for your kind. However, the land below is still in chaos. Merely wishing for peace will not make it so.
For that reason, I give you this.
What is this...?
......... So spake our gods: Nations shall be ruled not through might but wisdom... That staff is for that purpose. It will replace your Holy Sword, Queen Yggdra.
...I have seen a ray of hope in the land below. Whether it will flourish or fade away... I cannot foresee. It is in your hands, O Queen. Your ideals should be passed on for generations to come. Those of us in paradise shall never forget your courage... Yet, we must now part. This is not a place for the living. I shall return Ancardia to the bottom of the sea... Farewell, Queen Yggdra and her brave followers. May your futures be bright and filled with peace... May the gods bless you for all eternity!
Ending Power Traded for Wisdom
kingdom in the name of justice.
At the close of the war with Bronquia, Yggdra, the 32nd Monarch of Fantasinia renounced all military force forever and sealed the Holy Sword in the Great Temple. She vowed never to allow war to give rise to any more sorrow or hatred.
A gentle breeze has begun to flow, bringing a new age of peace to Paltina.
Well, that's the game. It's pretty well accepted to be the canonical ending of the game, for obvious reasons. Yggdra achieves her goal of a peaceful world; Kylier's sacrifice brought about the change she wanted, yadda yadda yadda.
What happens if we ignore Marietta's warning, and turn against her?
This time, it will take some battle preparations. I didn't equip any items, but everyone was brought to full morale, or at least quite close to it. Mostly everyone in our group has 6 Gen, which is the important part. Elena is at 4, which we could justify raising higher. In the end, though, it's high enough.
Draw thy blade for eternal sin; else lay thine edge to rest...
This time, she does not return to the temple. Everyone advances towards Marietta.
I repeat: beyond here lies the realm of the gods. I forbid you to enter any further. Return to your world.
Marietta always stays on the defensive on her turns. Regardless, she brings a new card to the table, but with 666 Pow, we don't have much to immediately worry about.
We're almost in striking distance now. Let's check out our foe.
Christ... Level 75, with a new class, Archangel, and new unit size, solo. She has max stats, and brings two brand new skills to the game, as well as the old favourite, Void Ailments. We'll see what A.S. Shield, and HP Control System do. We also can't see what her morale is.
Just a quick note, Gauge = MAX only affects the player, never the enemy. At least we won't have to worry about her starting with a full gauge every battle...
Do you defy our warning? Then, I shall consider you an enemy of the gods.
Let's start off with Gravity Chaos. The curse won't have any effect, but we can hope to deal a lot of combat and morale damage up front.
Yggdra, Mistel and Durant all have terrible odds, though. Elena is in good form, and Milanor's nearly even.
As noted early, Marietta fights solo. As a result, we don't see how much damage we deal on our charge. She comes back with a pretty powerful counter.
Her 6 Luk makes it incredibly annoying to try to use card skills, since she'll Flash Attack very often, interrupting charges.
We eventually get it off, though...
And it does jack shit.
Marietta quickly finishes Yggdra off. Fortunately, we don't take a lot of damage. 666 * 104% ends up with 693 damage per loss. Elena will take a bit more.
She similarly wipes the floor with Mistel.
Elena stands a good chance, though. With Marietta unable to counter, and the weapon disadvantage, we take the lead.
We're still in the fight as Marietta finally reaches a MAX bar.
O gatekeeper of the sanctified realm... Retribution awaits those who defile our home.
Ok, fun stuff. Angelic Thunder acts just like Crusade. If you're hit by it, the battle's over. Thankfully, it doesn't grant a damage bonus.
Durant and Milanor both take a loss as well...
To point your blade at me is to defy the gods. Once marked as their enemy, there can be no turning back.
If you haven't guessed yet, this is a very gimmicky battle, and this is your only clue.
In the mean time, let's keep wailing on her. We'll try to steal that Scepter of hers, in an attempt to drop her stats to a more manageable level.
Maybe Shield Barrier will get us past Angelic Thunder, and we might have a chance.
Will Kiss of Death buy us the time to avoid Angelic Thunder?
So Marietta beats Elena the old fashioned way.
Ok Bloody Claw maybe?
Nope. If you haven't guessed, A.S. Shield blocks anything that damages or affects Marietta. Kiss of Death gets through because it affects our characters.
But after the battle, we see progress. Marietta is no longer at ???? morale, but a more manageable 8428! So what's happening here?
We see here a skill called HP control system. While not intuitive in the least, what this means is that Marietta can't take HP damage in combat, making her undefeatable. She does, however, take morale damage in its place. So while some cards are completely useless, like anything repelled by A.S. Shield, anything that prolongs the battle, like Shield Barrier, has a use. The longer we stay in battle, the more morale damage we'll deal.
With that note, we'll use Ace Guard. By ignoring the counter attack damage from Marietta, everyone lasts the entire fight, until Angelic Thunder comes out.
Good for another 3-grand damage.
Dragon Killer won't help, but we're still whittling her down.
Revolution doesn't offer anything special either, but we make progress.
And Yggdra maxes out her level.
Marietta, meanwhile, isn't looking so hot.
One more round of attacks, provided by Mind Change here, should bring her down at this rate.
And after our fourth clash, Marietta's looking injured.
As an aside, this has taken about 30 minutes, almost all of it under the influence of the turbo button...
While not defeated, we notice some changes. She's stuck at 1 morale, and won't go any lower through combat damage. Her A.S. Shield has changed, though, to S. Shield. S. Shield still blocks pretty much everything.
But let's do what I normally do when I'm sick of an encounter.
It's just that simple.
The only thing different between A.S. Shield, and S. Shield, is that A.S. Shield blocks Crusade. S. Shield doesn't.
...You are quite strong to have defeated me... But your actions are a challenge against Asgard. You have chosen to turn your blade on the gods... That hubris shall be the end of your kind...
...Was this the right thing to do? I feel like we've done something terrible.
Justice lies with the Holy Sword... no matter what. The Gran Centurio has delivered our enemies to us... Hence, this is justice. That is the way of the Kingdom. This shall become doctrine in the world I shall lead. Even the gods cannot escape from that truth.
...But is this really how things should be?
The gods were the cause of it all in the first place! They stood idly by as Nessiah did what he pleased! His wars brought hatred, which in turn caused harm. If the Holy Sword's role is to smite those who bring harm... then we must slay those who are at the root of it all! No matter who they may be.
We will go forth, under the aegis of the Holy Sword. To rid the heavens of those who would allow harm to come to us!
Now, on anything but Hard mode PSP, we're treated to another ending scene.
Ending The Advent of Ragnarok
Eventually, it reached Heaven's Gate, the boundary between the human world and Asgard.
The guardian angel Marietta flew down to deliver the words of the gods to the Royal Army. Yggdra, who believed in the absolute justice of the Holy Sword, which has served as a pillar of Fantasinia, responded by slaying Marietta with the Gran Centurio.
A titanic clash between Yggdra's forces and the gods... The great battle that came to be known as The Trial was about to begin...
But we're on Hard mode PSP, so that's not the ending.
The Quick Clear MVP for this mission is 15 turns, which puts us 4 combat turns too slow. I took an extra turn to get the entire group into formation, but to earn the other three turns I imagine you'd have to use Cruz and Elena, both at high level, and use the right cards to bring up your survivability. I'm not going to stress on it, because fuck, that was 30 odd minutes of losing repeatedly.
Angel Halo: By killing Marietta, we get this. It offers absolutely no help for the final level.
Scepter of Wisdom: We can check out the Scepter given to us by Marietta by checking out the Items menu in the Extra Contents. While it has combat stats and abilities, there's no way to equip it during any battle, as she doesn't drop it if we fight her. Technically Yggdra can't even equip it. It could also restore 9000 morale to anyone.
Power Traded for Wisdom is probably the real ending. It's more in character for, well, everyone, and I don't recall hearing anything about The Trial in Knights of the Nightmare, which you'd think would be worthy of a note. All that aside, it's pretty much what I'd expect from an ending.
That being said, starting a war with the gods, while suitably metal, really doesn't make for a fun level. Thematically though, I think it works great. A lone champion of the gods, battling an army of mortals. She only falls not because of the humans' strength, but she exhausts herself because she can't kill her enemy fast enough. Even then she only falls to a weapon created by one of her own.
I'm just glad I don't have to play it again.
I'm not glad because I have one more mission to go, and it's much, much worse.